Robert Robinson – inventor of benzene symbol

Robert Robinson – inventor of benzene symbol

Robert Robinson – inventor of benzene symbol

Biography & Contributions

Robert Robinson was an English organic chemist and Nobel laureate born on September 13, 1886 – died on February 08, 1975. Robinson had studied and done research chemical reactions involved in forming alkaloids. Robinson’s other important works include isolation of tropinone, described the structure of morphine strychnine. He also studied anthocyanins, developed a method for synthesizing female sex hormones.

Robinson conducted research on the structure and synthesis of many different organic compounds. His early studies of plant pigments enabled him to synthesize anthocyanins and flavones.

He also formulated a qualitative electronic theory of the structure of organic molecules. His research played a role in the synthesis of penicillin. He invented the symbol for benzene. Robinson is known for inventing the use of the curly arrow to represent electron movement.


Anthocyanins belong to a parent class of molecules called flavonoids synthesized via the phenylpropanoid pathway; they are odorless and nearly flavorless, contributing to taste as a moderately astringent sensation. Anthocyanins occur in all tissues of higher plants, including leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits. Anthoxanthins are clear, white to yellow counterparts of anthocyanins occurring in plants. Anthocyanins are derived from anthocyanidins by adding sugars.

Alkaloids Compounds

Alkaloids are a group of naturally occurring chemical compounds that contain mostly basic nitrogen, carbon and hydrogen atoms. Alkaloids may also contain oxygen, sulfur and more rarely other elements such as chlorine, bromine, and phosphorus. Alkaloids are having pharmacological activities including animalarial, antiasthma and anticancer etc.


Strychnine is a colorless, bitter crystalline alkaloid used as a pesticide, particularly for killing small vertebrates such as birds and rodents. Strychnine has been used in rodent poisons and in smaller doses as a stimulant in veterinary practice. It increases the reflex irritability of the spinal cord, which results in a loss of normal inhibition of the body’s motor cells, causing severe contractions of the muscles; arching of the back is a common symptom of poisoning. Strychnine rapidly enters the blood, whether taken orally or by injection, and symptoms of poisoning usually appear within 20 minutes.

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